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Acute Kidney Injury

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is acute kidney injury?

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is also called acute kidney failure, or acute renal failure. AKI happens when your kidneys suddenly stop working correctly. Normally, the kidneys remove fluid, chemicals, and waste from your blood. These wastes are turned into urine by your kidneys. AKI usually happens over hours or days. When you have AKI, your kidneys do not remove the waste, chemicals, or extra fluid from your body. A normal amount of urine is not produced. AKI is usually temporary, but it may become a chronic kidney condition.

What causes AKI?

What increases my risk for AKI?

What are the signs and symptoms of AKI?

You may not have any symptoms with early or mild AKI. As AKI progresses, you may have any of the following:

How is AKI diagnosed?

There are many causes of AKI. To find the cause and to treat your AKI correctly, your healthcare provider may do any of the following:

How is AKI treated?

Treatment depends upon the cause of your acute kidney injury and how severe it is. Usually, AKI will be monitored in the hospital. If you have mild AKI, you may be able to go home to recover. Your healthcare providers will treat the cause of your AKI. You may need IV fluids if your AKI was caused by little or no fluid in your body. You may need dialysis to remove waste and extra fluid from your body. Your healthcare provider may tell you to eat food low in sodium (salt), potassium, phosphorus, or protein. You may need to see a dietitian before you are discharged to get help with planning your meals.

How can I prevent AKI?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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